Turner Contemporary to lead England’s Creative Coast project featuring art, geo-caching and ‘art’ accommodation

Turner Contemporary Photo Visit Thanet

Turner Contemporary is leading a project which will involve seven art works being created at locations across Kent, Essex and East Sussex.

The England’s Creative Coast project will also include the world’s first art GeoTour using GPS-enabled geocaching technology to share the hidden stories and creative spirit of England’s South East coast, as told by local communities; Art Homes, to be piloted in Margate during the 2019 Turner Prize, which invites visitors to stay in the homes of local artists and self-build itineraries that allow visitors to create their own journeys, from cultural experiences to food, drink and accommodation offers.

The scheme means Turner Contemporary, Towner Eastbourne, the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, Hastings Contemporary, Creative Folkestone, Cement Fields in Gravesend and Metal in Southend-on-Sea are joining forces for the project running from Spring to late Autumn of 2020.

The art works, under the title of Waterfronts, will be curated by Tamsin Dillon –with  a series of seven new site-specific commissions carried out  by Andreas Angelidakis, Mariana Castillo Deball, Holly Hendry, Jasleen Kaur, Katrina Palmer, Pilar Quinteros and Michael Rakowitz.

The first artwork will be launched in spring 2020 with Michael Rakowitz’s commission in Margate,. The others will follow over the summer.

The  project, which is led by Turner Contemporary and Visit Kent, is principally funded by Arts Council England and Visit England / Visit Britain through the Discover England Fund, encompasses:

What is the project?

Waterfronts: Seven new art commissions

The coastline of the counties of East Sussex, Kent and Essex represents a strategic section of England’s border.

England’s Creative Coast has appointed Tamsin Dillon to curate a series of seven specially commissioned artworks, collectively titled Waterfronts, each situated on and made in response to seven places along this coastline:

Michael Rakowitz working with Turner Contemporary in Margate

Mariana Castillo Deball working with Towner Eastbourne

Holly Hendry working with the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-sea

Andreas Angelidakis working with Hastings Contemporary

Pilar Quinteros working with Creative Folkestone as part of Folkestone Triennial 2020

Jasleen Kaur working with Cement Fields in Gravesend

Katrina Palmer working with the Southend-based organisation, Metal

The artists will explore the border between the land and the waters, bringing their own knowledge, understanding and interests to reflect on the issues faced by these particular locations. The commissions will include sculpture, land drawing, painting, sound and video — all distinct works yet linked by the coastline, its people, history and future.

Art GeoTour

Using geocaching, the GPS-enabled digital treasure hunt technology, communities from each of the seven locations are invited to share their personal stories of what it’s like to live in that particular coastal place, respond to the new artwork in their town and give visitors a new way to interact with the landscape.

A group of people from each location will work with each partner arts organisation to create new caches (containers hidden within the landscape featuring rewards) that will lead visitors on a ‘Geotour’ of the region — the first ever art geocache tour in the world. Through gaming, travellers will enjoy an authentic experience of the place they’re visiting.

Art Homes

England’s Creative Coast will trial a pioneering new Art Homes accommodation offer in Margate this autumn, where guests can stay overnight in a local artist’s home. Here they can experience or buy art, take part in an artist-led activity, dine with local creatives or be taken on a tour of their studio.

As these venues respond to the demand for hosting more people, the pilot will test a new kind of overnight offer, tying into the Turner Prize 2019 (28 September 2019 – 12 January 2020) at Turner Contemporary. The  pilot will inform future Art Homes across England’s Creative Coast, offering a creative overnight trip for visitors, for the first time.

Self-build itineraries

In response to the changing way that travellers want to take greater control of planning their trip, personalising it to suit their tastes and budget and the desire to ‘live like a local’, England’s Creative Coast offers a new website affiliated to local businesses as well as key travel operators across the region. Developed by Visit Kent, the website www.englandscreativecoast.com enables visitors to use recommendations for the best food, drink and accommodation.

Tamsin Dillon, Curator of Waterfronts for England’s Creative Coast, said: “These new artworks offer fresh perspectives on the places in which they are located; each with their own layered histories and complexities. Each artist in this diverse and international group will create a new work to provoke thought and dialogue around the issues facing this border and this distinctive coastline now and in the future.”

Michael Rakowitz, whose art will feature at Turner Contemporary, said: “There are many things that interest and excite me about the prospect of making a site-specific work in Margate. The history of poets and rescuers looking out at the sea for inspiration and life has informed my project, as has the fossil bearing rock of the coast, which reminds me that stone is an archive. But I am also led by urgency, of understanding what it means to be at the edge of a place, where hospitality and hostility mix.”

Victoria Pomery OBE, Director of Turner Contemporary, added: “We are delighted that Turner Contemporary is leading this ambitious, multi-faceted project. This is a fantastic opportunity for artists to make new site-specific works and for audiences and visitors to engage with our work and that of our partners. Investment in culture delivers many benefits and has been transformational in Margate and our partners’ seaside towns.”